Oxford professor apologises for 1996 email saying ‘blacks are more stupid than whites’

Oxford professor apologises for 1996 email saying ‘blacks are more stupid than whites’

Oxford professor apologises for 1996 email saying ‘blacks are more stupid than whites’ and it is ‘laudable if you accustom people to the offensiveness of truth’

  • Professor Nick Bostrom wrote an email for an unmoderated forum in 1996
  • He published an apology on his website where he repeats the ‘disgusting’ email
  • He wanted to come clean amid rumours comments may be ‘maliciously framed’
  • Oxford said they ‘condemn’ views expressed and have launched an investigation 

An Oxford professor has apologised for an ‘disgusting’ and ‘repulsive’ email he wrote in 1996.

Nick Bostrom is Swedish-born philosopher and a professor at the University of Oxford, who is the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute.

In 1996, he wrote an email for an unmoderated mailing list forum called The Extropians.

In the email he wrote that ‘blacks are more stupid than whites’, followed by ‘I like that sentence and think it is true.’ 

Nick Bostrom, an Oxford professor wrote in an email: ‘Blacks are more stupid than whites’

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The apology that Mr Bostrom published to his website as he wanted to 'clean out his own closet'

The apology that Mr Bostrom published to his website as he wanted to ‘clean out his own closet’

In an apology statement published on his website, Mr Bostrom said The Extropians was where people had conversations about ‘science fiction, future technologies, society and all sorts of random things.’ 

However he also admitted that there were ‘large quantities’ of ‘outright offensive stuff’.  

He then went on to say that he wanted to ‘clean out his own closet’ amid rumours his comments may be ‘maliciously framed’ or ‘used in swear campaigns’ and so he therefore repeated the email. 

In the 1996 email, Mr Bostrom said: ‘Blacks are more stupid than whites. I like that sentence and think it is true. But recently I have begun to believe that I won’t have much success with most people if I speak like that. They would think that I was a ‘racist’: that I disliked black people and thought that it is fair if blacks are treated badly.

‘I don’t. It’s just that based on what I have read, I think it is probable that black people have a lower average IQ than mankind in general, and I think that IQ is highly correlated with what we normally mean by ‘smart’ and ‘stupid’. I may be wrong about the facts, but that is what the sentence means for me. 

He published the apology amid rumours that his comments may be 'maliciously framed' or 'used in swear campaigns'

He published the apology amid rumours that his comments may be ‘maliciously framed’ or ‘used in swear campaigns’

‘For most people, however, the sentence seems to be synonymous with: I hate those bloody n*****s!!!! … I think it is laudable if you accustom people to the offensiveness of truth, but be prepared that you may suffer some personal damage.’

A University of Oxford spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The University and Faculty of Philosophy is currently investigating the matter but condemns in the strongest terms possible the views this particular academic expressed in his communications. 

‘Neither the content nor language are in line with our strong commitment to diversity and equality.’

Chairman of the Oxford student union’s campaign for racial awareness and equality, Jake Milikan, told The Times that they stand ‘firmly’ against any racism and they ‘hope the university will take appropriate action.’

MailOnline have contacted Nick Bostrom for a comment.

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Gina Kalsi

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